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Technical Paper

Multilayer Tuneable Emittance Coatings with Low Solar Absorptance for Improved Smart Thermal Control in Space Applications

2009-07-12
2009-01-2575
MPB has developed advanced technologies based on smart radiator thin-film tiles (SRTs) employing V1−x−yMxNyOn, for the passive dynamic thermal control of space structures and payloads. The SRT has passed successfully the major ground tests and validated its performance for extended use in the harsh space environment, with a target of up to 15 years GEO, in preparation for a flight demonstration of this technology This paper describes the optimization of MPB's smart radiator and its validation of an efficient thermal control with the tuneability of thermo-optical properties. The thermal control of satellites is a critical subsystem that impacts on the performance and longevity of space payloads. MPB has developed advanced smart radiator devices (SRDs) for passive, dynamic thermal control of space structures and payload. The SRDs employ a nano-engineered, thin-film structure based on V1−x−yMxNyOn. Dopants, M and N, tailor the transition temperature of the IR emittance.
Technical Paper

Inukshuk Landed Robotic Canadian Mission to Mars using a Miniature Sample Analysis Lab for Planetary Mineralogy and Microbiology

2007-07-09
2007-01-3104
This paper discusses the Inukshuk landed rover mission to Mars that is currently undergoing the Phase 0 mission study for the Canadian Space Agency. The Inukshuk landed rover mission addresses key science themes for planetary exploration; focusing on the search for hydrated mineralogy and subsurface water sites that can provide evidence of past or present life. New exploration and science will be accomplished using an innovative tethered combination of a small rover and a self-elevating sky-cam aerostat. The elevating visible (VIS) imager, at about 10 m altitude, will provide an informative high-resolution 2-D view of the rover below and surrounding terrain to greatly assist the semi-autonomous navigation of the rover around obstacles and selection of sites for detailed subsurface exploration.
Technical Paper

Optimization of Tuneable Emittance Smart Coatings for Thermal Control in Small Satellites

2007-07-09
2007-01-3126
MPB has developed advanced technologies based on smart radiator devices with thin-film tiles (SRDs) employing V1-x-yMxNyOn, for the passive dynamic thermal control of space structures and payloads. M and N dopants tailor the transition temperature characteristics of the tuneable IR emittance. The SRD has successfully passed major ground tests and validated its performance for extended use in the harsh space environment, with a target of up to 15 years GEO, in preparation for a flight demonstration of the technology [1]. This paper describes the optimization and validation of the SRD as an efficient thermal control system with tuneable thermo-optical properties for a microsat mission. The optimization involves tailoring the transition temperature characteristics of the tuneable IR emittance to near room temperature by using Tungsten-doped Vanadium targets for the deposition of V1-xWxOn.
Technical Paper

Advanced Miniature IR Spectral Processor for the Infrared Spectral Monitoring of Spacecraft Vital Life-Support Systems and Remote Astronaut Health Diagnostics

2006-07-17
2006-01-2178
Infrared (IR) spectroscopy probes the characteristic vibrational and rotational modes of chemical bonds in molecules to provide direct information about both the chemical composition and the bonding configuration of a sample. The significant advantage of the IR spectral technique is that it can be used with minimal consumables to simultaneously detect a large variety of different chemical and biochemical species with high chemical specificity. Currently, various VIS/NIR grating spectrometers are employed to cover the spectral range between 0.3 and about 2.2 (μm. Bulk-optic Fourier Transform (FT)-IR spectrometers employing variations of the Michelson interferometer are generally used to provide spectral measurements above 2.5 (μm. The FT-IR systems tend to be mechanically complex, bulky (>15 kg), and require considerable processing, maintenance and recalibration. For space-based systems, the important drivers are reliability, power consumption, mass and simplicity of operation.
Technical Paper

Multi-function Tuneable Emittance Smart Coatings for Thermal Control in Harsh Space Environment

2006-07-17
2006-01-2263
MPB has developed advanced smart radiator devices (SRDs) for passive, dynamic thermal control of space structures and payloads. The SRDs employ a nano-engineered, integrated thin-film structure based on V1-x-yMxNyOn. Dopants, M and N, tailor the transition temperature characteristics of the tuneable IR emittance. This paper describes the progress in MPB's smart thermal radiator towards its validation as an efficient thermal control device for space environment. A set of environmental tests were performed in order to validate the coating resistance and performance stability in space. The tests included random vibration, thermal shock, and accelerated aging. In addition, the thermo-optic characteristics after exposure to Atomic Oxygen (AO) in a simulated LEO environment were similar to the “as deposited” characteristics. Preliminary radiation tests, comparable to 3 years in a GEO environment, indicate very low change in emissivity and solar absorptance relative to the initial values.
Technical Paper

Advanced Integrated-Optic and MNT Technologies for the Infrared Spectral Monitoring of Spacecraft Vital Life-Support Systems and Remote Astronaut Health Diagnostics

2005-07-11
2005-01-2878
Manned space systems have many requirements for the monitoring of vital life support systems including quality of cabin air and the recycled water supply, as well as direct monitoring of vital indicators of astronaut health. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is an attractive monitoring technique because it requires minimal consumables while providing relatively high chemical specificity for the detection of a wide variety of biochemicals using the characteristic vibrational modes of chemical bonds. For space-based systems, the important drivers are reliability, power consumption, mass and simplicity of operation. MPB has advanced its IOSPEC™ technology for miniature integrated IR spectrometers to provide performance comparable to large bench-top IR systems but in a compact and ruggedized footprint weighing under 2.5 kg.
Technical Paper

Thin-film Smart Radiator Tiles With Dynamically Tuneable Thermal Emittance

2005-07-11
2005-01-2906
This paper describes recent advances in MPB's approach to spacecraft thermal control based on a passive thin-film smart radiator tile (SRT) that employs a variable heat-transfer/emitter structure. This can be applied to Al thermal radiators as a direct replacement for the existing OSR (optical second-reflector) radiator tiles with a net added mass under 100 gm/m2. The SRT employs a smart, integrated thin-film structure based on the nano-engineering of V1-x-yMxNyOn that facilitates thermal control by dynamically modifying the net infrared emittance passively in response to the temperature of the space structure. Dopants, M and N, are employed to tailor the transition temperature characteristics of the tuneable IR emittance. This facilitates thermal emissivities below 0.3 to dark space at lower temperatures that enhance the self-heating of the spacecraft to reduce heater requirements.
Technical Paper

Passive Dynamically-Variable Thin-film Smart Radiator Device

2003-07-07
2003-01-2472
This paper describes a new approach to spacecraft thermal control based on a passive thin-film smart radiator device (SRD) that employs a variable heat-transfer/emitter structure. The SRD employs an integrated thin-film structure based on V1-x-yMxNyOn that can be applied to existing Al thermal radiators. The SRD operates passively in response to changes in the temperature of the space structure. The V1-x-yMxNyOn exhibits a metal/insulator transition with temperature, varying from an IR transmissive insulating state at lower temperatures, to a semiconducting state at higher temperatures. Dopants, M and N, are employed to tailor the thermo-optic characteristics and the transition temperature of the passive SRD. The transition temperature can be preset over a wide range from below -30°C to above 68°C using suitable dopants. A proprietary SRD structure has been developed that facilitates emissivities below 0.2 to dark space at lower temperatures to reduce heater requirements.
Technical Paper

Miniature High-Performance Infrared Spectrometer for the Monitoring of Spacecraft Vital Life-Support Systems

2003-07-07
2003-01-2407
Manned space systems have many requirements for the monitoring of vital life support systems such as the cabin air quality and the quality of the recycled water supply. Infrared spectroscopy probes the characteristic vibrational and rotational modes of chemical bonds in molecules to provide information about both the chemical composition and the bonding configuration of a sample. The significant advantage of the IR spectral technique is that it can be used with minimal consumables to simultaneously detect a large variety of chemical and biochemical species with high chemical specificity. To date, relatively large Fourier Transform (FT-IR) spectrometers employing variations of the Michelson interferometer have been successfully employed in space for various IR spectroscopy applications. However, FT-IR systems are mechanically complex, bulky (> 15 kg), and require considerable processing.
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